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Success Stories

Some benefits of weight loss surgery are off the scales. At the NMMC Bariatric Center, we measure our patients' success in more than pounds. Our dedicated team of experts works with you before, during and after surgery to attain all the good things that come with reaching a more ideal weight. Here are just a few of our success stories.


Lindsey Floyd of Blue Springs suffered from sleep apnea and borderline high blood pressure when she weighed 305 pounds. Even worse, she lacked the energy or desire to do much. Since having laparoscopic vertical sleeve gastrectomy in June 2014, Lindsey has lost 140 pounds. Now she fishes and hikes with her husband, and still has energy left to jump on the trampoline with her daughter.






April Holmes of Caledonia suffered from high blood pressure, sleep apnea and severe back pain when she weighed 350 pounds. Back then she couldn’t even tie her shoes without losing her breath. Since having laparoscopic vertical sleeve gastrectomy in November 2013, she’s down to 135 pounds. She works out, plays sports and “things I never dreamed I’d be able to do.”






Golf may have saved Nick Robertson’s life. Despite high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar and worn-out knees, Nick says he was the only one who couldn’t see what the excess weight was doing to him. At 486 pounds, the day he could no longer bend over to tee up the ball was when he finally decided to do something about his weight. After having laparoscopic vertical sleeve gastrectomy in October 2013, Nick is down to 185 pounds but at the top of his game. “Being overweight affects everything you do, from buying clothes to tying your shoes,” Nick says. “This is the best decision I ever made.”




Robin Carruth of Tupelo found it difficult to keep up with her students when she weighed 318 pounds. She had trouble tying their shoes, climbing stairs or sitting on the floor with them. She took prescription medicine for leg pain, and she dreaded buying clothes. Everything changed when Robin had laparoscopic vertical sleeve gastrectomy in September 2013. Now 146 pounds lighter, she works out regularly, enjoys shopping, sleeps better and wakes every morning with plenty of energy for her “kids.”




Amber Fowler of Meridian battled extreme neck, back and joint pain and constant fatigue when she weighed 380 pounds. But it was her family history--diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer and stroke--that frightened her the most. Thanks in part to laparoscopic vertical sleeve gastrectomy in May 2013, she's now 213 pounds lighter and loving life. "The word 'can't' is no longer in my vocabulary," she says. "I never imagined how vibrant, incredible and amazing my life could be."




Local pediatrician Nikki Ivancic, M.D., sees patients every day, but they're all seeing much less of her. Dr. Ivancic has lost 240 pounds since having laparoscopic vertical sleeve gastrectomy in 2012. Before surgery, she struggled to get up and down with children, climb stairs and stay on her feet all day. Now she's not only breezing through work, but swimming and ballroom dancing with energy to spare.





When Marie Dendy of Ackerman weighed 267 pounds, she took medicine for high blood pressure and arthritis, and she suffered from gastroesophageal reflux disease. Climbing stairs was difficult, and she struggled to keep up with her active family. Since having a laparoscopic vertical sleeve gastrectomy in September 2012, Marie has lost 135 pounds. She’s off all prescriptions, and her blood pressure is back to normal. Now she rides motorcycles, climbs ladders, jogs and challenges her family to keep up with her.



When Missy Box of Amory tipped the scales at more than 300 pounds, she had a hard time keeping up with her three children--now ages 3 to 17--let alone juggling her handmade jewelry, boutique clothing and gift business, praise band and other interests. Since having a laparoscopic vertical sleeve gastrectomy in 2011, she has lost 130 pounds and gained a new zeal for life, with energy to boot.





Billy Abbott of Mantee suffered from diabetes, arthritis in his knees and sleep apnea when he weighed almost 450 pounds. Within a year of having laparoscopic vertical sleeve gastrectomy, he lost more than 200 pounds plus all those health concerns. Now work is much easier, he enjoys playing ball with his kids, and he can finally ride his mule.






A nurse for 21 years, Cherri Southward Cox of Tishomingo knew excess weight was the culprit behind her blood pressure, diabetes and sleep apnea. At 300 pounds, she wondered if patients would even listen to her advice. Since having bariatric surgery in December 2007, Cherri has lost 160 pounds, as well as her health issues. Now as a certified bariatric nurse, she can not only educate her patients but share firsthand about being healthier and happier than ever.



Always an adventurer, Mike Scalf broke four chairs during one camping season when he tipped the scales at almost 300 pounds. Worse yet, his blood pressure was high, he suffered from back and foot pain, and he was being treated for sleep apnea. After having laparoscopic vertical sleeve gastrectomy in 2012, Mike is down to 173 pounds, his blood pressure is normal and he's done with sleep apnea. Now he has plenty of energy for long motorcycle trips and camping... plus less weight means better gas mileage.



Tawana Dearing of Tupelo is singing our praises since losing 92 pounds. After having laparoscopic adjustable gastric band surgery in October 2009, she has dropped several dress sizes as well as the medication she once needed for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Now Tawana has the energy she needs to work out and keep up with her 9-year-old daughter, with plenty to spare for her church's choir and praise team.



Jay Yates used to live to eat. Now he eats to live. The chef and owner of The Veranda Restaurant in Starkville, Jay has lost 110 pounds since having laparoscopic vertical sleeve gastrectomy in August 2010. He no longer suffers from diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea and joint pain. Once barely able to walk, now he runs a busy restaurant with energy to spare for working out, riding his bike and traveling.



Sheila Reed of Baldwyn works with critically ill patients every day, so she knows firsthand that good health is precious. Realizing that she needed to improve her own health, Sheila had laparoscopic vertical sleeve gastrectomy in 2011. Now Sheila has not only reached her target weight, but she no longer needs medication for high blood pressure and feels better than ever.



Only a few years ago, Lance Grissom of Baldwyn had trouble simply keeping up with his kids. Now, he’s running circles around them. By his late 30s, Lance weighed 432 pounds and was being treated for high blood pressure and irregular heart rhythm. He suffered from back problems and other aches and pains. In less than two years after laparoscopic vertical sleeve gastrectomy, Lance lost 175 pounds and gained a new passion—running. He has several races under his belt and is now training to run the St. Jude Marathon (26.2 miles).


Jana Caffee of Pontocola had no intention of having weight-loss surgery when she accompanied her sister to a free educational seminar. But after she saw her sister’s tremendous success, she was sold. Jana, a reading interventionalist at Shannon Primary School, had tried several different weight loss programs but couldn't get below 250 pounds. Along with the weight came high blood pressure that required medication. The extra weight also aggravated her arthritis, making it hard to climb stairs and keep up with her students. After laparoscopic adjustable gastric band surgery, she lost 98 pounds. The adjustable gastric band helps control the amount of food her stomach can hold. She eats from a smaller plate and says she never feels deprived.


Janice Cruthirds says weight loss surgery is the best thing she ever did for herself. The 64-year-old from Columbus, who works as a consultant for area school districts, began struggling with her weight in her 50s. Along with the weight came high cholesterol and a blood sugar level that was climbing too high. Because her mother died of a heart attack at age 68, Cruthirds knew she needed to take heed. Shortly after laparoscopic vertical sleeve gastrectomy, she was completely off her cholesterol medication and CPAP device, and her blood sugar returned to normal. She lost 75 pounds, dropping from a size 18 to a size 6. “I can fasten my shoes, climb the stairs, things you take for granted unless you are overweight,” she says. Traveling is now much easier, as are swim aerobics, tending to her flowers and the three grandchildren she is raising.


Misty Sheffield of Fulton has more to show for her weight loss surgery than weight loss. In October 2010, she became our first patient to start a family after surgery. Misty tipped the scales at 320 pounds before laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. After 18 months she weighed 160 pounds—half her original size. Gone also were her high blood pressure, high cholesterol and sleep apnea—resolved quickly and for good when she lost weight.



As a physician, Dr. David Booth of Eupora knew the toll diabetes could take on him. When taking insulin and three different medications failed to control his diabetes, he turned to laparoscopic adjustable gastric band surgery and a new lifestyle of healthy eating and exercise. Now that he has lost 85 pounds, he no longer needs medicine to control diabetes. And while his blood sugar, cholesterol and heart rate are well below normal, his energy level and zest for life are higher than ever.

Video Testimonial



Like daughter, like mother. Donna Wallis of Dry Creek in Tippah County lost almost 200 pounds after having weight loss surgery in 2008. Pam Wallis followed in her daughter’s footsteps in 2009 and lost 75 pounds of her own. Gone too are the high blood pressure, joint pain and other health problems that often accompany excess weight. Now the mother-daughter duo enjoys shopping together for new clothes. “Before I had to order clothes from a catalog whether I liked it or not just because they had my size,” Donna says, but no more. Pam says, “We’re having a ball!”



Vercilla Adams sticks by her children Candy Dickerson and Kenneth Michael through thick and thin, and lately everyone is a lot more thin. Vercilla has lost more than 100 pounds since having weight loss surgery in March 2009. After seeing how great their mother looks and feels, Candy and Kenneth followed suit a year later, both with great results.


Kim Mayhall of Fulton now has a sunny outlook. After having laparoscopic Roux-en-Y surgery, she has lost more than 90 pounds and is even smaller than she was in high school. But even better than dropping seven dress sizes was coming off her high blood pressure medication and lowering her risk for heart disease.




Peggy Guenther of Columbus has traded in her fatigues for something much more fashionable after losing 80 pounds in less than a year. After retiring from the U.S. Air Force with 20 years of service, Peggy now trains civilian workers on base. Thanks to laparscopic adjustable gastric band surgery, and a new lifestyle of healthy eating and regular exercise, she has lowered her blood pressure, her triglycerides and her blood sugar. Now that the weight is gone, she no longer battles problems with her heart, kidneys, liver, pancreas and knees.


Alice Byars of Columbus has a new outlook to match all her new clothes, now that she’s lost more than 100 pounds. Thanks to laparoscopic adjustable gastric band surgery and a new lifestyle of healthy eating and regular exercise, her cholesterol level and blood pressure are right where they need to be. And Alice is swimming, shopping and enjoying life to the fullest.




Holly Floyd of Grenada is writing a new chapter in her life now that she's lost 114 pounds. Her success can be traced to laparoscopic adjustable gastric band surgery and a new lifestyle of healthy eating and regular exercise. She has lowered her blood pressure and no longer suffers from gastroesophageal reflux, nor constant aches and pains in her hips and knees. Now this active mother and paramedic has the energy she needs to finish nursing school.


Doris Mitchell of Becker has pruned away 145 pounds after having laparoscopic adjustable gastric band surgery and launching a new lifestyle of healthy eating and regular exercise.. Her blood pressure and blood sugar are back to normal, and her flower garden isn't doing bad either.







Video Success Story

Ken Wheeler

Now that the Bariatric Center is designated as an Accredited Center by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program and is recognized in the Optum Centers of Excellence Network, weight loss surgery at NMMC is covered by more health plans, including those for teachers, state employees and many offered by employers. So, check your health plan benefits, talk to your doctor and weigh your options.

Start Your Journey Here.


For more information

Bariatric Clinic - 408 Council Circle, Suite C
Bariatric Center - 830 South Gloster Street
Tupelo, Mississippi 38801
Phone (662) 377-SLIM (7546) • Toll free at 1-866-908-9465
Fax (662) 377-6330